One of the direct effects of the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies as currently witnessed in the crypto-market at the moment is that it created the opportunity for this cryptocurrencies to be traded privately and publicly.
A trading platform is an avenue that facilitates the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. In other words, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are easily accessed by potential buyers and sellers through trading platforms.
There are many trading platforms available for cryptocurrency transactions, however, we will restrict the discuss to the Nigerian context. In this article, we will base our discussion on the advantages and differences each trading platform offers to its client’s or users.
The following are the top cryptocurrency trading platforms in Nigeria at the moment:

1)Bittrex


Bittrex, a U.S based cryptocurrency trading platform is a pioneer leader in blockchain’s revolution and was launched in 2014. Their platform is designed for the fastest trade execution, reliable digital wallets, and top notch industry security practices.
Recently, Bittrex entered into an agreement which allows investors to purchase digital coins with U.S dollars. Talking about this recent development, “We think that solving the regulatory puzzle in the United States really unlocks a lot of capital that really can’t trade on a foreign exchange that doesn’t have proper [anti-money laundering] controls or proper compliance,” Shihara said.
Top features of Bittrex:
i) Bittrex offers its customers hundreds of cryptocurrency trading pairs in Bitcoin , USDT and Ethereum but do not offer fiat pairs like USD, GBP, EUR, etc. However, users who have “enhanced verified account” can buy Bitcoin, Ethereum and USDT through bank wire transfer.
ii) The security of its users as well as secure transactions is a top priority including a 2factor verification process.
iii)Bittrex has a custom trading system that was designed to ensure orders are performed in real-time.
iv) It also supports third-party trading platforms as well as algorithm trading through its extensive APIs.

v) Offers 24/7 customer service.
vi) Bittrex currently offers up to 250 cryptocurrencies for exchange on its trading platform.

Buying on Bittrex:
The main goal of Bittrex is to allow users trade cryptocurrencies for cryptocurrencies. Any other transaction (like buying fiat currencies like USD, GBP, etc) requires enhanced verification.
If you are buying your first cryptocurrency, Coinbase or similar options is best suited. After purchase, you can then trade with it in Bittrex.

How to trade with Bittrex:
a) Go to Bittrex.com then click “LOGIN” or sign up, whichever is the case. You only need an email to sign up. After signing up, verify the account through the link sent to your mail and log in.

b) To deposit your Cryptocurrency, click on “Wallets” page and deposit the cryptocurrency of your choice.
– Use the search engine to locate the cryptocurrency you want to deposit. and click on the “plus icon”.
– You will see a deposit box pop up. This box allows you to generate a deposit address.

c) You will get/receive your deposit after It is verification by Blockchain.
d) Once your deposit is approved and available for transactions, search for the trading pair you want to trade on the markets page.
e) Place your order.
N:B- Always observe the Order Book and use it to view all bids (buy) and asks(sell) placed by other Bittrex users.
f) Select the desired “Units” and your desired Price.
– Confirm the order or cancel.
g) If your order gets filled, the cryptocurrency you bought will show in your Bittrex wallet.

HOW TO WITHDRAW :
Withdrawal can be done by clicking the “minus icon”, then enter amount and address you are withdrawing to.
TRADING FEES:
Every trade on Bittrex attracts a .25% commission fee.

2) Poloniex :

Poloniex is U.S based company, located in Wilmington, Delaware, USA and has been described as having one of the most consistent highest trade volume of exchanges recorded in all cryptocurrency transactions.

Key Things to Know about Poloniex:
1) Poloniex offers advanced trading tools in its platforms, including technical indicators and a robust API with informative attributes.
2) Offers a 24/7 monitoring and Cold Storage to ensure protection of its customers money.
3) Gives users access to its innovative projects and the latest Tech and tokens which are moving the crypto-market forward.
4) However, there has been a lot of poor customer service support system, which is a huge issue so long as the cryptocurrency market is concerned.
5) With respect to their “Terms of Use and Changes in it”, it has been argued that majority of the changes are very important updates any company in the crypto-market should have.
6) Deposits, withdrawals or trading in fiat currencies (USD, GBP, etc) are not supported by Poloniex.

REGISTRATION:
Registration is very easy. Requires your email like Bittrex above.

BUYING ON POLONIEX?
To purchase any cryptocurrency on Poloniex, you must have another cryptocurrency which they support.
a) To deposit your cryptocurrency, click “Balances > Deposits & Withdrawals.”
b) Find the wallet you want to deposit to, and send to that address.
c) Once the deposit enters your account, navigate to the exchange page. This page allows you to trade on a lot of cryptocurrencies for Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDT or Monero.
d) Search or find the pair you want to trade from the “right-hand side” of the exchange page.
e) Set your purchase price,and place your buy order. Only the right buy order will get filled by other Poloniex users.
POLONIEX’S FEES? All Trading fees are mostly below .25%.

N:B- Poloniex charges no deposit fees. However, withdrawal fees varies depending on the type of cryptocurrency you are withdrawing which are charged by the cryptocurrency’s network and not Poloniex.

3) BITFINEX:

Bitfinex is among the top cryptocurrency trading platforms with respect to daily trading volumes and very popular. Bitfinex is located in Hong Kong and was founded by Raphael Nicolle in 2012. It is owned and run by iFinex Inc, and therefore one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the game.
Currently, Bittrex has discontinued it’s services to U.S. customers, and has channelled their focus on their users from other parts of the world. Also, Bitfinex currently manages at least $2B worth of trades per day, and it’s trade volumes for its BTC/USD pair is per day is around $600m.


KEY FEATURES:
a) Functionality – The Hong Kong based outfit operates comprehensive and highly customized platform with a nice interface suited for every user.
There is also Trading View charts and a mobile app available on Android and iOS devices.
b) It also employs the cold storage security system, allowing only 0.5% of its cryptocurrencies to be accessed in hot wallets. It also uses a 2FA security measure to reinforce customers security.
c) Bitfinex offers a 24/7 customer support through email, though answering queries may take more hours sometimes.
d) Trading Options: There are a lot of trading available on the platform, including margin trading.
e) Bitfinex has a High Liquidity ratio owing to its consistent afloat at the top of BTC/USD trading markets.
f) Supported Currencies: Bitfinex has at least 72 market pairs which are linked to USD, EUR, BTC and ETH; the four base currencies. Bitfinex allows fiat purchase of the two major cryptocurrencies, BTC and ETH.

SIGNUP AND LOGIN:
Bitfinex service is specifically designed for more professionally experienced traders. Therefore, it comes with peculiar specifications. It is advisable you read the pop up box which usually appears and agree to the “terms and conditions”.

– These terms include a tentative minimum equity account of $10,000.
– New accounts will not be able to execute any function on the platform until they reach this amount.
– In order to access fiat “deposits and withdrawals”, users/customers must agree to undertake a verification process that will likely take up to 6-8 weeks to complete.
If you have assented to all the above, then continue to create your account.

CREATING YOUR ACCOUNT:
– Visit the site and follow the signup process.
– Enter your username, email address, and password and every other option in the registration page.
– follow the necessary prompts to complete registration.

HOW TO MAKE DEPOSITS ON BITFINEX

After registration, fund your account by clicking “Deposit” button in the upper right-hand corner of your page. When it takes you to the deposit page, select from the list of cryptocurrencies to make your deposit.
Note that Bitfinex can sometimes limit a users access to their account based on IP address as a way of staving off cyber-attacks and other unusual withdrawal patterns.
MAKING A TRADE: After funding your account, click ‘Trading’ button and choose the pairing you prefer to make your trades.
Bitfinex Fees:
Fees on Bitfinex can range from 0.0% to 0.2% depending on the outlined fee schedule which is determined by a 30 days trading volume and whether the user has a taker or maker status.

4) HITBTC:

One of HitBTC’s marketing strategy is that they see themselves as the “most advanced Bitcoin exchange” and is run by the Hong Kong based company, HIT Solution Ltd.
HiTBTC was developed as a result of collaboration among finance professionals, experienced traders, and software developers, which created an advanced platform that is capable of meeting everyone’s needs.

KEY FEATURES OF HITBTC:
a) Advanced order matching algorithms.
b) Real time clearing.
c) High availability rate.
d) Uptime and fault tolerance.
e) Low fees.
f) Strong security measures.
g) No limitations on withdrawals and deposit of digital assets.
h) Over 150+ instruments to select from.
I) Does not need registration for a user to have full access to their trading platform.
g) You can top up your balance without any limitation.
I) Offers over the counter trades (OTC).
HitBTC TRADING TOOLS:
HitBTC offers its users most of the information they will need to make decisions on before trading. More experienced traders and beginners will enjoy the platform as well as appreciate all the charts and graphs that HitBTC offers.
HitBTC SIGNUP:

Registration is simple. Click “Register” in the upper-right corner when you open the site and fill up the required details. Like the others, you also need a working email and a password. After that, confirm the registration from your email address to activate your account.

HitBTC DEPOSITS:

To fund deposit your HitBTC account, you must first generate a wallet address.
– Start by clicking on the green button “Deposit”.
– Select the row that tallies with the currency you want to fund and click “Fund.”
– You will get the following : a wallet address, string of numbers and letters, and a QR code.
– Once the deposits gets to HitBTC, your account page (at the bottom) will show a pending transaction. The currency is usually available soon after.
HitBTC WITHDRAWALS:

To withdraw your coins, navigate to t “Accounts” tab. Find the “Withdraw” row and click on “withdraw” and input the quantity you want to withdraw. Make sure that your coin is in your main account.
– Each withdrawal can be viewed in “Reports” – Payment History” or in “Latest Transactions”.
TRADING ON HitBTC:

– To make a trade, move funds from your “Main HitBTC account” to the “Trading account”.
– To move this, click “Accounts” page, and click the “blue arrow” in between your two accounts.
– Follow the prompt and input the amount you wish to move, then click “Transfer.”
– After that, you can now set up an order once the coins enters your account.
– To choose a trade pair, click “Exchange” on your trading screen and select from the “Instruments” section.
HitBTC FEES: fees is dependent on if the customer is a maker or taker, and ranges from 0.01%.

Important Update: 21/8/18
There is a lot of complaints by users from accounts being frozen to withdrawals being restricted.
Users are advised to hold off on trade on HitBTC until the situation calms down.

5) KRAKEN:

Kraken is a San Francisco based company founded in 2011 and launched to the public in September, 2013, and is one of the most popular and oldest cryptocurrency trading platforms currently still in operation. It was founded Jesse Powell in July 2011 and he is also the current CEO.
Kraken is available in US, Japan, Canada, m and various European countries.
MAJOR FEATURES AND PLATFORMS:
a) Deals in multiple fiat currencies including the USD, the Canadian Dollar, GBP, EUR, and the Japanese Yen.
b) Provides an easy interface plus a detailed documentation to enable beginners trade better. There is also an IOS mobile app platform.
c) Offers charting which advanced traders can utilize and appreciate.
d) Kraken has a high level of liquidity which allows for high trade volumes and fast funding of accounts.
e) Kraken undergoes “Proof of Reserves Audits” and is the leading giant in performing Cryptographically Verified Auditing.
f) For its security and that of users, Kraken incorporated the cold storage technology. It also utilizes the PGP/GPG encryption method, a two factor authentication (2FA) , a master key, as well as a Global Settings Lock.
g) Trading Options: In terms of exchange, Kraken allows for Bitcoin Margin Trading with their specific leveraged trading totalling up to 5x with shorting.
h) Advanced order types like Kraken “stop-loss orders” and “automated trading” are also provided by the platform.
i) The platform also offers over 47 market pairs backed with fiat base currencies like USD, EUR, Canadian Dollar, GBP and the Japanese Yen.
J) There is also a customer service support 24/7.
Note that BTC is XBT in Kraken.
k) There is also margin trade allowed on the platform.
SIGNUP AND LOGIN:
There is both basic and advanced account depending on users experience.
– Basic account users must provide their full name, date of birth, address and phone number.
– Advanced account go through a more hard verification process to complete their registration for security reasons. Provision of ID card is also important, or SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER for those in the USA through the “Get verified tab”. after registration.
Registration on Kraken is simple and easy, and you need just an email to open.
How to Make a Deposit:
Go to ‘Funding’ in the Menu tab and then choose your preferred funding method. You can use choose bank transfer function or select a cryptocurrency wallet to transfers funds.
How to Make a Trade:
– After funding your account, click on ‘Trade’ tab from the Menu and choose ‘New Order’.
– Then choose the currency you want to buy and the payment currency of your choice.
– Confirm your purchase after entering the quantity you want to buy.
Kraken Fees:
Transfer fees are usually determined through transaction costs and will be adjusted if Kraken’s deposit partners readjust their fee structures.
Other fees are done on a trade basis.

6) Bitmex:

Bitmex is a trading platform based in Hong Kong and founded by HDR Global Trading Limited in 2014 and registered in Seychelles. It is one of the biggest Bitcoin exchange platforms with a 35,000BTC Volume and a trading record of over $34 billion Bitcoin worth since it was founded.
BitMEX accepts Bitcoin deposits only, which is then used to buy other various cryptocurrencies. BitMEX also prides itself with specialisation in sophisticated financial dealings and trades like margin trading ( trading with leverage).
Bitmex is unregulated like other heavy and big weights in the crypto-market.

Signing Up to BitMEX:
– Signing up requires an email, including an anonymous email address. But, it must be authentic.
– You must be 18yrs and above to register.
– Bitmex do not accept U.S based traders.
How to Use BitMEX:
– With Bitmex, users can trade cryptocurrencies against fiat currencies like USD, Chinese Yuan and Japanese Yen.
– It also enables users trade different cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Dash, Litecoin, Ripple, Tezos Monero, and Zcash.

KEY FEATURES:
a) Very easy, intuitive and simple platform.
b) Applies auto-deleveraging.
c) BitMEX provides Binary series contracts. Binary Series Contracts are complicated ways of betting on a given event.
d) The trading platform also offers a Future Contract, which in essence is an agreement to buy or sell a particular asset sometime in the future at a price already predetermined by the parties involved.
e) BITMEX offers margin trading on every cryptocurrency in its website.
f) BitMEX gives it’s users the opportunity to leverage their position on the platform. Leverage on this instance means that users can place orders which are bigger than their balance or the balance in their wallet.
g) BitMEX has a technical system for risk checks and a tight security protocol.
h) Has never been hacked.
I) Offers viewing preferences on its site as well as Tradingview Charting.
J) Offers various order types to its users. E.g Limit order, market order, Stop limit order, Stop Market order, Trailing Stop order, Take profit Limit Order, Take Profit Market Order,etc.
k) Offers a top notch customer service 24/7.
L) BITMEX provides trading guides for its customers too.

BitMEX FEES:
With respect to traditional futures trading, BitMEX offers a simple and straightforward fee schedule which can be accessed on their site.

DEPOSITS AND WITHDRAWALS
deposits and withdrawals are free on BitMEX. But, when withdrawing your Bitcoin, the least Network fee is determined by the blockchain load. The costs you will pay then are that of banks or cryptocurrency networks.

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